I will keep all informed as to the decision of the Jade Festival Committee, which is meeting on the 8th. It has been suggested that the Festival be postponed until Spring. I don’t know what they will decide, but will let everyone know when I do. I know this is a disappoitment to many, but given the circumstances, I concur with the USFS decision in this matter. Generally, campers are all up and down Plaskett, Willow, and Nacimiento, which cannot be allowed this year. While the Soberanes is predicted to be contained by 9/30, I think we all know better. It has remained at 60% containment for over 3 weeks now, and is steadily moving south, closer and closer to the South Coast of Big Sur.
From Monterey District Ranger Tim Short addressed to me, the SCCLT, and Gordon Pfiffero, the Superintendent of Pacific Valley School:
“1. The active Sobranes Fire continues to expand in a southerly direction within the big box containment line. Although current containment projections are for September 30, this incident could burn well past this date depending on conditions. In either case it will continue to require full commitment of local USFS resources.
2. A district wide closure order was implemented to help reduce the risk of another human caused fire start given our extreme fire conditions that is a result of multi-year drought, low fuel moistures, significant fuel loading etc. We must continue to do what we can to avoid another human caused fire in addition to the current incident.
3. Given the existing district closure and assuming existing conditions continue into October, there will be no camping available for the public outside of the existing concessionaire operated developed campgrounds.
4. Managing the Jade festival does require a level of agency cooperator support such as law enforcement and fire patrols. Given the current emergency fire situation for which USFS and cooperator resources are stretched, this effort would further strain that limited capacity.
The USFS annually supports this important event and assists through the permitting process. However, at this time, based on current conditions and due to reasons described above, we unfortunately cannot issue a permit. Thanks for everyone’s cooperation and understanding through this challenging period. We all are looking forward to a return to some level of post fire normalcy.”